Feeling lucky?

By Jeff Petersen, The Observer March 29, 2012 01:21 pm
Megamillions fever is sweeping the country, and Northeast Oregon is no exception.

The prize Friday night? A whopping $500 million.

What would you do if you won $500 million, of which $499 million would go to pay federal, state, local and sin taxes?

Just kidding. In fact, you’d only owe about $250 million in taxes — and about $1 million each to your 250 new, close, most personal friends who would have called you if you would have just kept your cell phone charged.

The odds are stacked against us. In fact, I’m less likely to win the Megamillions jackpot than I am to drive home from work tonight and see a 100-member monkey marching band drilling in precision down Main Street in Cove.

Still, I’m investing $5 in hopes of winning this golden parachute.

Sure, I know, I might as well drop $5 in the toilet and flush.

I couldn’t resist. Much as I love my job, and as much as I am overjoyed to be employed during the current recession, the idea of calling in “retired” Monday has appeal.

Buying a beach home on the Oregon coast also has appeal. I might even have a few thousand of the prize left over to indulge in seafood — and postcards to send to all 250 of my newest, closest, most personal friends telling them that I am out of money.

As you probably can tell, I am not a math major. I am not even a home economics major, which may explain why I am financially challenged.

Even journalists, though, especially those like me who have copy edited Gamblers Anonymous publications for Hazelden Educational Materials, know that gambling can lead to all sorts of problems — like dreaming up scenarios involving 100-member monkey marching bands.

Nevertheless, I can’t resist the urge to get rich quick, Yes, I’m feeling lucky.

Still, don’t jump to the conclusion that just because I am going to win $500 million Friday night that I am moving away from Northeast Oregon. Don’t leap to that assumption until you see the red taillights of the moving van going over the Blue Mountains’ horizon.

Yes, I and many others just like me have Megamillions fever.

And if I win, promise, I will call in to work Monday excruciating, amazingly, annoyingly, insufferably rich — and possibly even Republican — too rich to go to work.

What I won’t do is be one of those people who gives a year’s notice and keeps dogmatically trying to win Employee of the Month, every month, and score chocolate chip cookies in the break room. What I will do is buy band uniforms for my 250 newest, closest, most personal friends. 


Reach the author at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it